Flickr/Sam Anvari

Despite its reputation, Iran's capital city holds secret charms

You could be forgiven for reading the news out of Tehran—protests (and brutal oppression thereof), morality police, first place honors as the smoggiest capital—and crossing it right off your to-visit list. 

But writer Azadeh Moaveni says you'd be making a mistake. Moaveni, who spent her childhood in California, rediscovered her ancestral home as a young journalist in the late 1990s. She has lived in Tehran on and off for six years, eventually writing two books about her time there.

In her own words, Moaveni explains why, in spite of everything, she loves the complicated Iranian capital.

This interview was condensed and edited for clarity.

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